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Cement industry is the most energy efficient industry in the world
Perception gap is a major challenge to the industry
Indian cement industry has conserved 1 million tonnes of coal through sustainable cement production practices
Indian cement industry commits to reduce its carbon footprint by 45% by 2050
The Indian cement industry leads by example in keeping pace with the world's evolving socio-economic and environmental paradigms, from adoption of new and clean technologies and adhering to stricter environmental standards to making the best utilization of the waste produced by other industries. This was highlighted by Mr Mahendra Singhi, President, Cement Manufacturers Association (CMA) & Managing Director and CEO, Dalmia Cement (Bharat) Limited. Mr Singhi was speaking at the 15th Green Cementech 2019, an annual conference for the cement industry organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in partnership with the Cement Manufacturers Association (CMA).

Under its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives, the Indian cement industry has adopted more than 700 villages for improving education, healthcare, sanitation, water supply and green cover; created green belts around cement plants through forestry; financed 25 colleges, and established 225 primary and secondary schools, Mr Singhi underlined.

Thanks to its resilience, cement and concrete infrastructure has saved many lives in situations of natural disasters, such as in the recent cyclone Fani in Odisha, Mr Singhi said, adding that it is hence justified to call cement a life-saving material. There is a huge perception gap, with many still thinking about the cement sector as unfriendly to the environment, whereas the reality is that the cement sector is the most energy efficient sector in the country and the world, Mr Singhi underlined, and added that the cement industry stakeholders should come together in reaching out to the public and the government to highlight the significant contribution of the cement sector to India's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Mr Singhi also encouraged industry stakeholders to take up more initiatives with State Governments to continue the good work on creating solutions for the betterment of citizens, the industry, and the environment.

Dr B N Mohapatra, Director General, National Council for Cement and Building Materials, underlined the need for more conservation of energy and increased use of clean and renewable energy in the cement industry, as the cement industry is the most energy-intensive industry in the world. Responsible manufacturing of cement, which involves reducing the carbon footprint of the sector, is the need of the hour, Mr Mohapatra said, especially as the cement industry in India is expected to grow by leaps and bound over the next few years. The Indian cement industry has committed to reduce its carbon footprint by 45% by 2050, Mr Mohapatra said, and expressed optimism for the accomplishment of this and related goals

Mr Philip Mathew, Chairman, Green Cementech 2019 and Chief Manufacturing Officer, ACC Limited, said that it is important to note that concrete is the second most used compound material in the world, next only to water. Cement is increasingly being seen as unsustainable and an environmental concern, which makes it imperative for the industry to work on green cement technology solutions, Mr Mathew said. More than 1 million tonnes of coal has been conserved over the years by sustainable cement production practices in the Indian cement industry, Mr Mathew said, and asserted that conservation of non-renewable sources of energy is the only way forward. Cement industry stakeholders must think about future challenges and the opportunities that can arise out of them, such as the inevitable challenge of government restrictions on landfilling of waste and the potential opportunity of recycling humungous piles of waste, Mr Mathew added.

Mr K N Rao, Co-Chairman, Green Cementech 2019, and Director (Energy & Environment), ACC Limited, said that the Indian cement sector is the fuel driving the growth of the Indian economy. Cement is subjected to the highest GST slab, and this is a major impediment to growth, Mr Rao highlighted. He encouraged the industry stakeholders to work with the government on this and other issues, such as weak financing in the field of energy efficiency and waste management. India has captive power plants with about 55 GW capacity, 60% of which is coal-based, and therefore, there is a huge potential for promoting clean and renewable energy technologies the captive power plants, he added.

Two publications- Cement Formulae Handbook (Ver 3.0) and ?Energy Benchmarking for Indian Cement Industry (Ver 4.0) were released at the inaugural session. For their greening efforts, JK Lakshmi Cement and Orient Cement were awarded GreenPro (Green Product) certification and ACC Bargargh Cement Works was awarded GreenCo (Green Company) Rating.

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30 May 2019
Hyderabad
FOR THE FAVOUR OF PUBLICATION


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